Darjeeling, July 17 (IANS) Sporadic incidents of violence and rallies were witnessed in the northern West Bengal hills on Monday as the pro-Gorkhaland supporters demanded that internet services be restored.
A group of Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) activists on Monday demonstrated outside the District Magistrate’s office in Darjeeling demanding access to internet, which has been banned in the region since the last one month.
“The pro-Gorkhaland rallies are being held in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and various other places in the hills. We condemn these authoritarian steps (blocking internet) by the Bengal government,” GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri told IANS.
The suspension of internet services, imposed on June 18, has been extended till July 25 by the district administration.
Giri also condemned the “extremely rude behaviour” of Trinamool Congress legislator Paresh Pal, who lashed out at GJM MLAs during the presidential polls in the state assembly.
“They just went there to cast their votes. This is a very bad practice by Trinamool Congress. The behaviour of the leader has been extremely rude,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, incidents of violence continued in the hills as a traffic outpost in Darjeeling district’s Mirik was set ablaze allegedly by GJM supporters on Monday afternoon, police said.
A deserted office of the state electricity board in Bijanbari area was set on fire on Sunday night.
“The situation is under control so far. There have been sporadic incidents of destruction and vandalism of public property in the area. Patrolling is on to avoid any untoward incidents,” said Darjeeling police superintendent Akhilesh Kumar Chaturvedi.
The GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown, demanding a separate Gorkhaland, entered its 33rd day on Monday as the Army continued to patrol various points.
This is published unedited from the IANS feed.